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Stranger Things 4 premieres in just a few weeks, and fans are more than ready for the Netflix original series to return. Each season of the show touches on pop culture moments from the 80s, and we expect the upcoming season, set in 1986, to be no different. Here are some of our best guesses about some of the ‘80s easter eggs we might find in Stranger Things 4.

'Stranger Things 4' production still showing Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Sadie Sink, and Gaten Matarazzo sitting in front of a monitor. 'Stranger Things 4' 80s pop culture moments.
Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson | Cr. Courtesy of Netflix

We expect music to play a big part in ‘Stranger Things 4’

The show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, include plenty of ‘80s hits to accompany the scenes in the series. We can’t imagine Stranger Things 4’s soundtrack without some of the most popular songs in 1986. Plus, the scene where we expect Eleven to have her “Carrie moment” happens at a roller rink – a perfect spot for all the top tunes of the time to play in the background.

The year 1986 was a big year for pop, so it’s hard to narrow it down, but some of the top hits from that year are:

  • “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Steve Wonder landed the number one spot for all of 1986. Stranger Things has always focused on the friendships within the show, so adding this to the soundtrack is a no-brainer.
  • “Venus” by Bananarama seems perfect for a slow-motion entrance for Nancy and Robin at some point in Stranger Things 4. In fact, we desperately need this to happen.
  • “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer seems like something Mike Wheeler would listen to as he pines away for Eleven all the way out in California. 
  • “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles included a very ‘80s-esque dance in the music video. Surely the roller rink blasts it out of the speakers a few times a night, right?

World events in 1986 the show might mention

Two tragic events marred the year 1986. The space shuttle known as The Challenger exploded on live television in January. We know Stranger Things 4 takes place during spring break of ‘86, so it’s doubtful the Duffers reference the explosion that occurred almost six months earlier.

In April 1986, however, the Chernobyl disaster happened. A nuclear accident involving the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat killed several people due to radiation poisoning over the next three months. With part of Stranger Things 4 set in Russia, we think the show will at least touch on the event.


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‘Stranger Things 4’ merchandise might hint at this tasty snack playing a role in the new season

Many viewers criticized the Duffer Brothers’ product placement in Stranger Things 3. From New Coke to Doritos, season 3 had it all. Even if the products weren’t necessary, others felt like they gave fans an authentic (pun intended) taste of 1985. So, what might they include in Stranger Things 4?

Mike and Lucas chowed down on Nacho Cheese Doritos during a scene in the Wheeler’s basement in season 3, but the delicious Cool Ranch flavor didn’t exist yet. Perhaps the world wasn’t ready for their tastebuds to burst with flavor in 1985. Maybe no one could wrap their brain around Ranch being anything but a salad dressing. Whatever the reason, Doritos introduced Cool Ranch and elevated tortilla chips to a whole new level.

On Apr. 6, a Twitter user posted an image of a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Instead of the typical logo, this bag had a Demogorgon front and center with the Stranger Things logo at the top. An image of a ticket was in the top right corner with the words, “Free Ticket to Virtual Concert From the Upside Down.” What does that mean? We’re not sure, but Stranger Things almost always has something up their sleeve.

Catch Stranger Things 4 Part 1 when it drops on Netflix on May 27, 2022.